It would be nice if the visions of the romance publishing world we carried in our heads were true. But, the reality is that it is a hard business that you need to be ready for. But, as a romance writer, you are up to the challenge if you ever want to see your name in print. Here are some facts and more than a few myths about the submission process.
1. New romance writers NEVER get published. That is absurd. Think about it: Everyone was a new writer at some point. Agents especially would love to be the one to discover the next big writing star. Imagine how J.K. Rowling’s agent feels now? New writers just need to know where to begin their search to open the publishing door.
2. A query letter is not necessary all the time. Wrong! A query letter is what gets you in the door. It is your time to shine. Think of it as your one shot to impress an agent and/or an editor. If you impress the editor and they like your manuscript, they will be your connection to the editors at the publishing houses.
3. A manuscript submitted in fancy font will get chucked. Now we are hitting on some facts. Editors have guidelines. These guidelines are there to standardize the submissions and also to help them read your work easily. Fancy squiggles or heavy paper won’t make a difference to them especially if your book is no good.
4. It takes time to hear back from an editor. This is true also. If you submit your manuscript this week, don’t expect a call or a letter back next week. You are one of hundreds of manuscripts on an editor’s desk. You will want them to take their time with your query and manuscript.
5. You only have to have a few chapters of the book ready to submit to a publisher. This is true and false. A publisher interested in your work after reading your query letter may ask for a few sample chapters of your work, BUT if they like what they read, they will want to have the rest of it in hand. If the rest of your book isn’t finished, you are up a creek. Even if they only want the first two or three chapters, your entire manuscript should be ready to go before you send out any query letters.
Do you feel a bit better about publishing process? It is not an easy one to tackle but then anything worthwhile very rarely is. Know the market, know the romance publishing business, and know that your work is top notch.